• Director returns to alma mater

    After two years of research and filming “Being Mennonite in America,” the project led producer and director Burton Buller back to Tabor College. The documentary centers on the history of Mennonites in the U.S., and their experiences integrating with American society.

  • County transfers ownership of Bowron building

    Commissioners unanimously approved transferring the Bowron Building to the Marion Advancement Campaign Monday. The building needs a new roof and other repairs, but Marion economic development director Randy Collett hopes to have them done within six months.

  • One blood test can save a life, Marion man says

    One day, one year ago, changed Roger Hannaford’s life – and no doubt extended it. Hannaford went, for the first time, to the Marion County Health Fair — mainly for something to do. He checked out the booths and then decided to have his blood tested, just to see how healthy he was.

  • Firefighting task force pushing forward

    Marion County’s firefighting task force is a budding program, but it is quickly gaining traction. There are four county departments involved, but more have shown interest. According to Lincolnville fire chief Les Kaiser, almost all departments in the county plan to pledge manpower or trucks.


  • Novelist to speak on Kansas poor farms

    Author Wes Brummer will talk about Kansas poor farms at Friday’s Lifelong Learning session at 9:45 a.m. Friday in the Heritage Lobby within the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts on the Tabor College campus. Brummer, born and raised in Kingman, grew up in a family that loved telling stories about growing up during the Depression. He used those conversations, plus oft-repeated stories from many family reunions, for the background of his first published novel, “Dust and Roses.”

  • County announces new EMS director

    Dave Owen was announced as the county commission’s choice for EMS director Monday. He is serving his final 30 days as EMS director in Morris County, which ends after Thanksgiving.

  • Cold weather rule takes effect

    Cold Weather Rule, designed to help Kansans. who are behind on their utility payments avoid disconnection during winter months, will run Thursday through March 31. Utility companies under Kansas Corporation Commission jurisdiction are prohibited from disconnecting a customer’s service when temperatures are forecast to be at or below 35 degrees over the next 24 hours.

  • Former Marion man charged in child sex case

    A former Marion resident and business owner is charged with several child sex offenses in Riverside County, California. According to the website for Southwest Detention Center in Riverside, Michael Ray Bredemeier, 65, was arrested Oct. 24 by Temecula police officers on suspicion of three counts of felony lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, two counts of felony oral copulation with a child under 10, and misdemeanor annoying or molesting a child.

  • Tabor men offer barbecue meal

    Tabor Mennonite Men will have their annual chicken barbecue from 5 to 7 p.m. tomorrow at Tabor Mennonite Church, 891 Chisholm Trail, Newton. On the menu are barbecue chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, and ice cream

  • Horticulture students pass it on

    Ann Leppke’s horticulture students at Peabody High School recently participated in a national campaign to “spread joy and happiness” through the giving of floral bouquets. “Petal it Forward” happened Oct. 24, when students handed out two bouquets to random people, asking them to keep one and give the second bouquet to someone they thought could use it.

  • 4-H endowment to meet

    The annual meeting of the Marion County 4-H Endowment Fund will be 5 p.m. Sunday in the basement of the Marion Community Center. The president will give a report reviewing short-term and long-term goals, and a treasurer’s report will be made.

  • Blood drive successful

    A total of 48 units of blood were collected Oct. 22 at a community blood drive at Hillsboro MB Church. “Thank you to the MB Church for providing the venue, Dale’s Supermarket for meat and cheese donated for sandwiches, Hillsboro Kiwanis for help setting up the drive, and to the volunteers helping at the front desk and kitchen,” blood drive coordinator Staci Silhan said.


  • Halloween - a time for guilty fun

    There was a time pranks were a beloved part of celebrating Halloween. Marion resident Rex Wilson said the most memorable prank he recalls is when a group of high school students decided the equipment at a farm machinery dealership should be moved onto the street.


  • Leland Bartel

    Services for retired photo technologist Leland Bartel, 75, who died Oct. 22 at West Chester Village in Lenexa, were Oct. 30 at Community Covenant Church in Lenexa. Burial was in French Creek cemetery, rural Hillsboro.

  • Barbara Diaz

    Barbara Diaz, 60, died Oct. 25 at Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice in Wichita. Burial was Monday in Lehigh Mennonite Cemetery.

  • Ivan Morgan

    Services for Ivan Morgan, 92, who died Oct. 22 at Asbury Park nursing home in Newton, were 10 a.m. Friday at Christian Church of Florence. Ivan was born Oct. 3, 1926 at Council Grove to Herbert and Rosie Leeson Morgan.

  • Theresa Klenda

    Theresa Klenda, 86, of Pilsen died Oct. 24 at Salem Home in Hillsboro. Services were Monday at Pilsen. She was born Sept. 16, 1932, to Valentine and Emma Polok in Hope, and married Leonard Klenda on Nov. 8, 1950.

  • Flora Williams

    Burial will be 11 a.m. Saturday in Glasco Cemetery for retired newspaper publisher Flora Leola Williams, who died Oct. 28 at Parkside Home in Hillsboro. She was born Sept. 29, 1924 at rural Bush City to Amzi and Flora Henderson Gull.


    Margie Christensen



  • Foster care is welcome after years of abuse

    History doesn’t live in the past. It may be from the past, but it’s entrusted to the present, with a moral and ethical obligation to preserve it for the future. That’s why it’s so heartening to see Marion County finally end its long-term abusive relationship with the 1887 Bowron Building — and why it’s equally maddening that it has taken more than a decade to end the county’s lack of proper stewardship and turn the building over to people who want to do more than just watch it and its place in history crumble.

  • Flint Hills featured in Smithsonian magazine

    I opened an international magazine, and there she was, Annie Wilson, with her guitar around her neck, looking back at me from page 25. “This might be the most beautiful place in America,” the story began.


    Do you have plans?

    When voting...


  • DJ likes to make people happy

    When Jeannie Goza of Ramona owned a bar and grill in town, she bought a Karaoke machine to liven the atmosphere. That experience led her to become a DJ in places similar to hers. After she closed the eatery 14 years ago, she became aware that smaller places like hers found it too expensive to hire a disc jockey.

  • Tabor College Wichita offers nurses online classes

    Tabor College Wichita School of Adult and Graduate Studies has created an abbreviated RN-BSN program for practicing nurses across the country. The 15-month program includes five-week online classes, allowing nurses to continue working full-time while completing their Bachelor of Science degree programs. The program will begin in January.

  • Contest seeks pictures

    The Landon Center on Aging is accepting online submissions of photographs of people 65 or older. Submissions will be accepted Thursday through Nov. 30. The center is associated with the University of Kansas Medical Center, focusing mainly on neurological issues in older adults.

  • Free ID service available

    Voters who need a photo identification before the Nov. 6 election can go to any driver’s license office, jump to the front of the line, and get one free if they specifically say they need it for voting. ID cards ordinarily cost $22.

  • Old-fashioned hymn sing set

    The Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum will host an old-fashioned hymn sing at 3 p.m. Nov. 4 at the 1906 Prep School on the museum grounds in Goessel. Arlin Buller will lead the hymns. The event is free and open to the public. A Faspa, late afternoon snack, follows.

  • Say hello, Dolly

    Hillsboro High School will present the musical “Hello, Dolly!” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8, 9, and 10 at the high school auditorium. Tickets are $6 and available online through the Hillsboro High School webpage.

  • Hillsboro Senior Center menu


    Calendar of events


  • Goessel football ends with win

    Goessel hosted a cross-district game with Chase County High School Thursday. The Bluebirds won the back-and-forth battle by a score of 46-42.

  • Hillsboro Trojans trample Yates Center

    A potentially dangerous situation awaited the Trojan football team Friday night in Hillsboro in the opening round of the Class 1A state playoffs. Think past Yates Center to their upcoming opponent, perennial powerhouse Pittburg-Colgan, and get shocked since the Wildcats had nothing to lose.

  • Goessel runners place seventh at state meet

    The Goessel Bluebirds capped a successful cross-country season with a strong showing at the 2A state meet in Wamego Saturday. The boys’ team placed seventh, with Dawson Duerksen and Adrian Kastner finishing in the top 30. Dawson’s time of 18:23.6 landed him in 27th, while Adrian came in 30th with an 18:26.2. The three others to get points were Jerah Schmidt, in 44th with an 18:50.3, Brendan Hicks, in 73rd with a 19:52.3, and Jacob Schrag, in 74th with a 19:52.9. Chico Bertozzi and Timothy Schrag also ran for the team, but they did not place high enough to get points. Chico came in 80th with a 20:07.6, while Timothy followed less than 20 seconds after, with a 20:25.9 for 86th place.

  • Trojan cross-country duo tastes state competition

    Trojan first-year cross-country coach Kodi Panzer was beaming Friday night when her two state qualifiers were introduced to compete at Saturday’s Class 2A state meet at Wamego at halftime of the football game. She has a good reason to be and it’s easy to see why.

  • Bluebird trio earns Wheat State honors

    As a reward for finishing the year 25-13, a trio of Goessel volleyball players gained all-league honors for Wheat State League, selected by coaches. Heading the first team were seniors Savanna Wuest and Audessi Unruh.

  • Choral festival is Tuesday at Tabor

    The choirs of the 10 Wheat State League schools will join in a free concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Richert Auditorium. The group will perform three songs, and each school choir will perform individually.

  • Hillsboro students of the month:Emersyn Funk

    Emersyn Funk The daughter of Jeff and Carisa Funk, freshman Emersyn Funk ran at the 2A state cross-country meet Saturday.

  • Hillsboro students of the month:Charlie Major

    Charlie Major Sophomore Charlie Major is the son of Bruce and Sara Major.

  • Goessel Honor rolls and awards

  • Hillsboro and Goessel school menus


  • County administrators an outgrowth from cities

    Six months from now, county government could be a different beast if voters give commissioners a green light Tuesday to get a county administrator. Marion County would join a minority of counties as only the 22nd one to hire someone to manage day-to-day operations.

  • Cardiac dispatch choices questioned

    It took more than an hour for a rural Lincolnville woman to reach a hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest early Saturday. At 2:56 a.m., county dispatchers called for Tampa ambulance to go to the 2500 block of 270th Rd., about 4 ½ miles southeast of Lincolnville.

  • Commissioners called corrupt by former employee

    A former county bridge supervisor confronted county commissioners Tuesday about a bridge inspection trip he claimed constituted an illegal meeting. Larry Cushenbery had his say about the way commissioners do business at the end of the meeting, following a 20-minute executive session called to discuss potential litigation.

  • Victim escapes domestic abuse

    A victim of domestic abuse escaped a Hillsboro home dressed only in a towel Friday afternoon. “When you leave, you leave the way you were dressed,” said Hillsboro police chief Dan Kinning.

  • Stalking indicators up in 2016

    The 40 court petitions seeking protection from abuse or protection from stalking filed in county court last year exceeded the number filed in any of the previous 10 years. 2014 was the lowest year, with 17 petitions filed, according to a Kansas Bureau of Investigation report released last week.

  • Marion, Hillsboro wage food fight

    A friendly fight is being waged between Marion and Hillsboro to see which can collect the most food through Nov. 17. Grocery donations will be weighed and credited to each community. Each dollar of cash donations will count as a pound of food.

  • Money returned to owners by Kansas state treasurer

    With over $470,000 of unclaimed property in the county, some residents were bound to walk away from the courthouse happy when the state treasurer visited Friday. Debbie Bowman was one of them.


  • Trump gets no respect at meeting

    A Halloween visit from the president provided comic relief during Tuesday’s county commission meeting. A man wearing a Donald Trump mask stood in the door to introduce himself and talk to commissioners.

  • Hot chili to be served by firemen

    If the chili is too hot at Tampa Saturday, firefighters will be on hand to put out the fire. The fundraiser is being held in conjunction with the first-ever Tampa Trail Fest, a celebration of Tampa’s Santa Fe Trail history. Tampa was one of the towns along the trail.

  • Commodities arrived Oct. 25

    Government surplus commodities arrived at county senior centers Oct. 25. Distribution schedules are available by contacting individual sites.

  • Blue-green algae plan proposed for lake

    A lake resident brought a well-researched call to action to county commissioners Tuesday in an effort to save the county park and lake from blue-green algae. Mark Wheeler gave commissioners notebooks with research on blue-green algae plaguing the lake in recent summers, causing it to be closed to swimming and wading.


  • Pauline Harms

    Services for former beautician Pauline Harms, 87, who died Thursday at Salem Home in Hillsboro, will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Marion Christian Church. Visitation will be from 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Jost Funeral Home, Hillsboro. She was born July 13, 1930, to Harry and Hannah (Miller) Ollenburger at Goessel. She married Verden Harms June 12, 1981, in Marion.

  • Rhonda Schinnerer

    Graveside services for Rhonda R. Schinnerer, 60, who died Oct. 12 at Kidron Bethel in North Newton, will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Strassburg Cemetery. Attendees are invited to the home of Rodney and Diane Richmond for a time of food and fellowship following the service. She was born October 1, 1957, to Ralph and Wanda (Propp) Richmond at Marion.


    Paul Magathan, Barbara Svoboda



  • Pilot program allows auto tech students to earn dual credit

    Five Centre High School students are killing more than two birds with one stone. In place of taking classes in math, science, and English, they are studying automotive technology at Butler Community College in El Dorado this year. When they complete the course, they will have earned 39 college credits.


  • When minutes matter

    Speed is essential, we’ve been told time and again, when it comes to getting trained personnel to the scene of medical emergencies. Whether it’s a case of cardiac arrest, heart attack, an injury accident, or others, the general assumption held by the public is that faster is better in getting emergency responders to a scene and getting a patient to a hospital.

  • Yay or nay to administrator?

    A decision looms for voters Tuesday about whether county government should be led by a county administrator. Commissioners have raised the question many times in the past. None until now have acted on those discussions.


    Candidate takes Free Press endorsement to task



  • 43-1: Goessel volleyball takes second at state

    The Goessel volleyball team stamped its presence on the 2A state volleyball tournament Friday and Saturday at Emporia, coming up just short in the championship match against Heritage Christian. The top-seeded Bluebirds rolled over Leon-Bluestem in their first match of pool play Friday, 25-11 and 25-13, with Eden Hiebert, Brittney Hiebert, and Ciera Nolte overpowering their opponents with hits.

  • Wheat State League honors reported

    State runner-up Goessel led Wheat State All-League volleyball selections released this week. Those receiving first team honors from Goessel include seniors Eden Hiebert, Leah Booton, and Brittney Hiebert, and junior Savanna Wuest.

  • Trojans' season ends on sour note

    With any mountain range a lengthy distance away, an avalanche in Kansas is as realistic as a blizzard in Africa. That is, unless you’re the Hillsboro Trojans, who got buried under one in Thursday night’s football season finale in frigid, windy Gypsum against the Trojans of Southeast of Saline.

  • Schools tackle online safety

    As the world we live in changes, so do the learning needs of students. Today’s technology-savvy students are frequently online, between computers, gaming machines, and smart phones. That can expose them to cyberbullying, inappropriate material, and online predators, district curriculum director for Peabody-Burns schools Kathy Preheim said.

  • Reed runs at state

    Hillsboro freshman Tristan Reed finished 37th at 2A state in Wamego on Saturday, finishing the 5K race in 18 minutes, 44 seconds.

  • Senior saves best time for last

    Running her fastest time of the season Saturday on a hilly golf course at Wamego, Julia Nightengale finished her Goessel career by placing 28th out of 93 runners at the 2A state cross-country meet. Her time of 22 minutes, 32 seconds was more than 30 seconds faster than her previous season best. Nightengale’s time was 11 seconds faster than at last year’s 1A state meet.

  • Goessel football drops final game

    A Thursday trip to Claflin proved fruitless for the Goessel football team, as Central Plains High School handily defeated the Bluebirds 54-0. Goessel’s season ended at 2-7 overall and 2-3 in district play.

  • Spelling tests aren't what they used to be

    Everyone remembers the spelling tests they took in grade school. The teacher spoke the word to the whole class, read a sentence containing the word, and students wrote the word down on a piece of paper. That’s not how it is done today, at least for students in the upper grades.

  • Goessel students report to parents at parent-teacher conference

    How better to engage students in their education than to give them the responsibility to report their academic progress to their parents? That idea is what led Goessel Junior/Senior High School to change the way it conducts parent-teacher conferences.

  • Honor rolls Area Schools


    Goessel, Hillsboro


  • Childhood screenings offered

    Free childhood development screenings will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 14. Screenings include cognitive, motor, speech/language, and social/emotional development for children up to 5 years old. Vision and hearing also will be screened. The process usually takes at least one hour for a child to complete. All children are welcome, but an appointment is necessary. Appointments can be made by calling (620) 382-2858.

  • Blood drive upcoming

    A blood drive for the American Red Cross will be held 1:15-6:15 p.m. Nov. 13 at Holy Family Catholic Church, 415 N. Cedar St., Marion.

  • Toy Run from Marion to Hillsboro slated for Saturday

    The 24th annual Marion County Toy Run will be Saturday. Motorcycles and cars are welcome with one new toy per entry. Riders and drivers will leave at 1 p.m. from Willy J’s 9th Lane, 131 S. Thorp, Marion, then travel to Hillsboro.

  • Group to hold fundraiser dinner

    A chicken barbecue fundraiser meal for a playground and church will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Tabor Mennonite Church, 891 Chisholm Trail Rd., rural Newton. The Tabor Mennonite Men are holding the donation dinner to raise money for a “whale” playground structure at Camp Mennoscah and the Tabor church building fund.

  • Calendar of events


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